Nearly 5% of all global internet users now use adblocking software, following a 69% surge in installations over the past 12 months, according to a new report.
The ‘Adblocking Goes Mainstream’ report, from PageFair and Adobe, said the number of people who utilised this software had risen 69% in the year to June to hit a total of 144m active users.
The vast majority of ad blockers use plug-ins for either Google’s Chrome or Mozilla’s Firefox browser.
View the report below:
Speaking to The Guardian, PageFair’s Sean Blanchfield believes the rate of growth should seriously worry the advertising industry, describing it as “the Napster of the advertising industry”.
“It’s millennials. You can basically see a large cohort of adblockers growing up – as adblockers. And this isn’t good news for the advertising industry, or publishers.”
Usage reached a peak among 18-29 year olds in the US, 41% of whom claimed to use adblock software. Overall more than one quarter of US users (27.6%) said they employed adblock software when browsing.
Similarly high figures were seen in Poland, Sweden, Denmark and Greece, where an average 24% of the online population had used adblocking software in the second quarter of 2014.
While adblocking is currently most evident in western markets, other countries are catching up – PageFair pointed to Japan and China as examples where adblock usage is growing fast.
These users are not totally opposed to advertising, however, often being more concerned with specific formats – the study found they were particularly ill-disposed towards ads that intruded on their ability to consume intended content. But over 60% of adblockers were at least partially receptive to viewing text, still-images and skippable pre-roll ads.
PageFair itself allows publishers to display acceptable ads to their adblock visitors and claims to have an opt-out rate of less than 1% and a CTR comparable with regular advertising.